Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It's making its way around the web, but this is disturbing (I'm using the Kos version because it includes a second set of AP and AFP photos).

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I suppose I should mention that the new teeth are finally in permanently. I had the bridge temporarily cemented in for about six weeks, in between various fittings and readjusting. I'm relieved to have it all over with. Insurance ended up covering a tiny fraction of the whole thing and denied all of my appeals, so this year pretty much decimated my bank account. Parents, when you cart your kids to the orthodontist, be sure to ask about root resorption as a side effect.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I'm only posting this for the picture...
I hope Kevin's getting some royalties from okcupid!

Modern, Cool Nerd

52 % Nerd, 52% Geek, 34% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd and Geek, earning you the title of: Modern, Cool Nerd

Nerds didn't use to be cool, but in the 90's that all changed. It used to be that, if you were a computer expert, you had to wear plaid or a pocket protector or suspenders or something that announced to the world that you couldn't quite fit in. Not anymore. Now, the intelligent and geeky have eked out for themselves a modicum of respect at the very least, and "geek is chic." The Modern, Cool Nerd is intelligent, knowledgable and always the person to call in a crisis (needing computer advice/an arcane bit of trivia knowledge). They are the one you want as your lifeline in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (or the one up there, winning the million bucks)!


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in either of the following:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender

free online dating
free online dating

You scored higher than 40%
on nerdiness

free online dating
free online dating

You scored higher than 75%
on geekosity

free online dating
free online dating

You scored higher than 61%
on dork points

Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

Monday, August 22, 2005

Worst. Fundraiser. Ever
I think we can all agree that Parkinson's is a terrible disease, and something should be done about it.

A rather fraught way to raise funds for Parkinson's charities: selling bobbleheads.

An even worse way: selling bobbleheads on which the arm also bobbles.

(if you don't get the "circle me" thing, click here.)
And finally, the answers:

1. The Bad Plus Smells Like Teen Spirit - Natalie
2. Blotto I Wanna Be A Lifeguard - Phil
3. The Cardigans Iron Man - JQ. I was trying to compile a covers CD at one point.
4. Digital Underground The Humpty Dance - JQ
5. The Drifters - Saturday Nght at the Movies
6. Carl Douglas Kung-Fu Fighting - Stan I can't believe it took this long.
7. The English Beat Mirror in the Bathroom - Mark. Yeah, it's from the GPB soundtrack, though I probably should also replace my cassette copy of What is Beat? at some point
8. Steve Goodman - Lincoln Park Pirates. I still have my theories about just what happened with the old car.
9. Isaac Hayes Theme from Shaft - Victoria
10. King Missile Martin Scorsese - Anthony
11. Massive Attack Unfinished Sympathy - Craig
12. MC Chris - Fett's Vette
13. Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant with My Two Headed Love Child - Anthony
14. The Presidents of the United States of America - Mach 5. For a bonspiel last year, I was asked to make a mix CD of songs about various forms of transportation.
15. The Runaways Cherry Bomb - Kris H. They recorded more songs?
16. Jill Sobule - Good Person Inside
17. The Specials Pressure Drop - Mark
18. Joe Strummer - Redemption Song
19. Tracey Ullman You Broke My Heart in 17 Places - Rebecca. It's part of the Stiff Records box set, which is a must-own.
20. Tom Waits - Downtown Train. See explanation for #14.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Today was our "annual" trek up to the Wisconsin State Fair, last year's being canceled due to the stolen car thing. Every year either here or in the Gopher State there's some new product where people apparently spent the winter throwing a bunch of sh*t in a Fry Daddy on a dare and trying to see what they could market. Most of the time I resist these "foods" for a couple of years and then cave, and usually find out that they're really good. Deep-fried pickle slices, for example. Or the Snickers bar, which is great if it's fresh. The DF Twinkie, on the other hand, is foul, as the frying brings out the chemical taste, and the Scotch Egg is bearable if you have five people to share the sodium with. I'm still in the resistance stage with the fried mac&cheese on a stick.

Anyway, this year's what-the-hell-are-they-thinking product: Deep-Fried Sauerkraut. I'm still not sure I saw what I saw.

Friday, August 12, 2005

I was surprised to hear at the Burns that some people there had no knowledge of the College of Coaches, the Cubs' ill-fated experiment in the early 60s. Now I know it's inappropriate to compare football to baseball, as the structure of football is already much more committee-oriented than other sports, which of course led to one of the few times I've ever agreed with George Will. But nonetheless, when I read about the Vikings' new "unique collaborative structure," the first thing I thought of was Mr. Wrigley's folly. If Dwight's looking for new FraughtWatch material, here y'go.

oh, what am I doing reading Vikings articles if I'm such a h8er? Comes with the territory when you look at the Strib site more than either Chicago paper site combined.
"Why isn't this man getting a genius grant?"
--Kirsti on Brent Hedke, the man behind Metallagher. (Strib article requires free registration, or go to This could be the greatest concept in all of rock, certainly since Dread Zeppelin.
UPDATE: they'll be in Milwaukee 8/20! Alas, I'll be out of town. If only Gen Con hadn't moved to Indy...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Well, that was quick
Got the postcard today saying that I have not been selected as a potential WWTBAM contestant. ah well. Guess I should have looked into those custom t-shirts.
CD Exchange: Disc#2

Rebecca's was the second disc I received. I had this 70% written, then I left the disc at work and the review fell by the wayside. Anyway, Rebecca's theme is "Good Love/Bad Love." Since we've all heard music before, this should need no further explanation, so away we go:

The Dan Band, "Shoop/Whatta Man/Never Gonna Get It" - So here's a bunch of guys covering Salt 'n' Pepa, with a touch of En Vogue. I'm not a huge fan of Salt 'n' Pepa, as they were derivative before being derivative was cool. So I thought this was a pretty funny kissoff.

Beach Boys, "God Only Knows" - Yeah, it's heresy, I know, but: I like Mandy Moore's version from Saved more than I like the Beach Boys version. The Beach Boys bother me. The harmonies soundy whiny to me instead of pretty, and I hate the bam-pa-pa-pa-pa crap. It's undeniably a great song, though, when even someone as questionable as Moore can turn out a good version.

Ben Folds, "B*tches Ain't Sh*t" - I'd heard this whiteboy version of the gangsta rap classic before and was a big fan, but Rebecca confused me by saying that "Ben Lea" appears on it. Whaa? The Redoubtable Ben Lea, QB legend out of NC and UM-Rolla? That'd be kickass wrapped in awesome, but I think she means Ben Lee, the performer who frequently tours with Folds (and according to the always-reliable Interwebs, the other singer is actually Folds' drummer, Lindsey).

Charlie Robison, "You're Not The Best" - Heh! This reminded me of a Weird Al song, "Good Enough For Now," but this was more to the point.

Rufus Wainwright, "Go or Go Ahead" - Rebecca says she doesn't know what Rufus is singing about. I don't either. Very good song, though. Rufus is probably batting .700 or so with me.

Elvis Costello and Burt Bachrach, "Toledo" - The Costello I know and like best is when he was Mr. Angry (up to and including Spike), so it's interesting to hear him on the other end, knowing he's not going to get forgiveness from the person he's wronged. Not sure what the whole Toledo thing has to do with anything. Damn public school education...

The Jayhawks, "All the Right Reasons" - I'm old enough to appreciate the Jayhawks now. When they first popped up I thought they were too folky and too country, compared to the stuff I favored from the Twin Cities scene. And then they lost further points by association with the supremely annoying Victoria Williams. Anyway, I like this.

k.d. lang, "Hallelujah"- Ehh...I've heard a few different versions of this (but never the original Leonard Cohen), and it's never done much for me. I like this version a lot better than the overblown Jeff Buckley cover, though, or the John Cale one.

Kelly Hogan & the Pine Valley Cosmonauts, "Papa Was A Rodeo" - I own this, and enjoy it. Listen for it in Lipstick and Dynamite, a documentary about the early days of female pro wrestling.

Dolly Parton, "Little Sparrow" - This is nice. Dolly Parton gets a bum rap, I think -- on one hand, the mainstream either thinks of her as a punchline, or only for 9 to 5 and "Islands in the Stream". Meanwhile, in country circles she doesn't seem to be taken as seriously as, say, Loretta Lynn or Tammy Wynette. I could be wrong about the last part.

Daniel Letterle, "Wild Horses" - This is my least favorite song on the collection. As covers go, I prefer The Sundays, even though it was used in a beer commercial and in an icky scene in Fear (y'know, "Feeah! Starring Maaahky Maahk!")

The Raveonettes, "The Christmas Song" - This didn't make too much of an impression on first listen, but it really grew on me thereafter. I particularly liked the tremolo guitar. While I haven't seen it, it's safe to say this song was probably the best thing about Christmas With The Kranks.

Kelly Willis, "Hole in My Heart" - This was pleasant enough. I've come to appreciate alt-country, but I think in this case there's not enough "alt" for me. Whatever that means.

Bitch and Animal, "Best Cock on the Block" - Ha! An "all the ladies want my lovin'" boast, but with a sapphic/polyurethane twist. As Rebecca says in her notes, "sisters are doing it for themselves." This is interesting, because I thought about putting Electric Six's "Vibrator" on my mix.

Unknown Hinson, "I Ain't Afraid of Your Husband" - Nice Jerry Springer anthem! Oddly enough, the fake cowboy drawl reminds me of the fake British accents employed by 80s R&B acts (cf. Midnight Star's "Freakazoid," Ready For The World's "Oh Sheila," and the entire output of Rockwell).

The Outlaws, "Girl from Ohio" - I'll be interested to see what Craig makes of this song, given his animosity for the Buckeye State. As for me, I thought it was okay.

Martha Wainwright, "Year of the Dragon" - I prefer Rufus to his sister, but she's not bad at all.

Mitch & Mickey, "When You're Next To Me" - I think one of the reasons A Mighty Wind missed the mark is that it was too sympathetic to its subjects. This is a sweet, competent song. Or maybe I'm not versed in 60's/70s pop/folk enough to get the joke.

Shakira & Alejandro Sanz, "La Tortura" - I don't know enough spanish to know whether the song fits the "bad love" designation Rebecca gives it. But listening to it was not la tortura.

Bonnie Raitt - "Feels Like Home To Me" - If there's a prototypical "wedding song" in the mix, this is it. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If I didn't have the track listing in front of me, though, I'd swear this was a Bette Midler song, only she never goes for the Big Finish.

Overall, I liked this disc a lot. A theme this big could lead to more problems than a narrow theme, and Rebecca picked a lot of artists who were either new to me, whom I'd heard about but never got around to checking out, or whom I'd written off long ago (Parton, Jayhawks). Of the snarky stuff, I like the Ben Folds song the best. Of the serious, I like the Jayhawks best.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Oh, since it's the new hot thing, here's how my football season will play out:

9/4 - I go to MN for the state fair. Since the Vikes play their last preseason game on Friday, I manage to avoid football on Sunday. Since I am not participating in Craig's football league, I return home to find his blog has begun its four-month stretch of unreadability.

9/11 - Someone says something inappropriate before or during a game about 9/11. Someone else says something even stupider about how there should be no games played today.

9/18 - Perhaps the last third-Sunday gaming date I can make before I have to juggle curling dates.

9/25 - Corpse Bride opens. Prepare to complain about Danny Elfman some more.

10/2 - Serenity (new Joss Whedon) and MirrorMask (based on Neil Gaiman stuff) open on the same weekend. National Guard is called in to quell theatre fights between fannish cults. Since both groups have significant overlap, many fans end up punching themselves in the face repeatedly.

10/9 - Chicago Film Festival is underway this weekend and next. Focus on Miike films, documentaries, and shorts.

10/16 - I feign interest for a week to tweak Bears fans, as the Vikings come to town. Curling season starts up. As it will still be warm out, the annoying football talk will play second fiddle to the even more annoying golf talk for another month.

10/23 - I kick the last of the visiting FOGHATters out of my home. Go watch football at the airport, you freeloaders!

10/30 - With trick-or-treating moved to weekend afternoons, this faux halloween yields few costumed kids, and the trick-or-treaters that are out there are greeted by drunks angry to be interrupted on "this huge drive." Oh yeah, Detroit burns down.

11/6 V for Vendetta opens this week. kickass!

11/13 - First big snowfall of the year. We settle in with a heretofore-unseen HBO series; either Deadwood or Six Feet Under.

11/21 - I prepare to return to work after being asked to take a few days off. Apparently the new words I learn from Deadwood do not go over well in a corporate environment.

11/27 - Thanksgiving/early Xmas in MN. Dean, Jane, and Todd disappear for three hours, come back pissed off.

12/4 - I see part of either a Falcons or Titans game from an airport in either Atlanta, Nashville, or Chattanooga.

12/11 - The golf talk finally stops at the curling club. Unfortunately, it's replaced with Illini talk.

12/18 - Maybe the lines for King Kong have thinned out enough to see it on Sunday.

12/25 - Christmas in the Boston area. Father-in-law complains about the Giants' woes and Patriots' success. Much smiling and nodding ensues.

1/1 - A minor scandal erupts as New Year's parties across Chicagoland wrap up at promptly 12:01, so people can stop vomiting in time for the noon Vikes/Bears game. Vomiting starts up again shortly after kickoff.
1/15 - Vikings stage their annual playoff collapse. I get periodic updates via the TVs in the University of Michigan's Modern Languages building.

Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Here's an amazing site with posters and/or video boxes for each movie ever given the MST3K treatment. "Movie" is used loosely, as occasionally MST would cut loose on TV episodes that were strung together for video release; thus, The Master became Master Ninja 1-2. In those cases, print ads are used.

Thanks to Roy for the link.

Thursday, August 4, 2005

This is excellent.

Monday, August 1, 2005

And now, the wait
Dee, Leah, and I each qualified for the regular Millionaire today. Additionally, I qualified for the "Million Dollar Movie Week" which is supposed to tape sometime this winter.

There is always interesting people-watching when you go to a casino; moreso when there are gameshow auditions going on. Lots of sequins about, and one woman wearing a custom NEXT MILLIONAIRE t-shirt. Hm. Okay. I am the most casual guy in the world. I wear polos, jeans and chucks everywhere, every day at work. This is maybe the one time in my life that the adage "dress for the job you want, not the one you have*" comes into play, and one would think that people would dress like contestants on WWTBAM and not The Price Is Right. Then again I've been on this show zero times, so what the hell do I know?

* The "job I want" is to not work, so by this logic I should be coming in in my jammies.

The test still seems easier than the Jeopardy! test. On the regular test I only had to make educated guesses on a handful of questions, but I correctly guessed that chromium is added to steel to make it stainless, and that the Levis logo involved horses trying to pull apart a pair of pants. On the movie one, the big guess was that the film that premiered at the Egyptian in 1922 was Robin Hood, also correct. I'm almost certain I didn't get a perfect score on either test, but I can't remember other questions that gave me a hard time.

My, who knows. I'm pretty sure my guy didn't take notes on anyone. I have decent stories on my app (redemption for the great lifeline fiasco of aught-three!), but my polaroid looks moronic. ehh, whatever. It's all arbitrary at this point, so there is no sense in dwelling on this any further. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Desperation is my friend
I've been sucking wind in Mark's Baseball Challenge league since the all-star break. Normally pitching a Pirate would have fraught written all over it; moreso when they're on the road vs. Atlanta, but I figured I'd take a chance on this Zach Duke kid and his gaudy ERA. Thank goodness I did. I got 36 points on a day with only four position players active (and of those, Mark Ellis was benched). If I could average 9 ppg on most days, I'd be sittin' pretty.
Here's something I don't get to say often
Leah, you left your shirt in my car.